Dive into the delightful world of plant-based cooking with our speedy Italian Peas and Pasta Recipe! Packed with fresh ingredients and bursting with flavors, this dish is not just a treat for the taste buds but also a nod to the benefits of seasonal, vegan produce. Whether you're a seasoned vegan chef or just exploring this easy recipe promises an effortless culinary journey.
Why is this pasta and peas recipe a total winner? First off, let's talk nutrition. The frozen peas are not just a vibrant green addition; they're a powerhouse of nutrients like fiber, protein, and vitamins. Pair that with gluten-free pasta, and you've got a dish that's as wholesome as delicious.
The homemade vegan parmesan cheese adds a nutty richness without the dairy, and if you opt for a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, you're also getting a dose of healthy fats. Fresh garlic and thyme bring in antioxidants and a burst of flavor, making this dish a nutritional slam dunk.
Now, let's get into the "easy factor." This is a one-pot dish, people! That means less cleanup and more time to enjoy your meal. Cooking the pasta with peas in the same pot saves time and allows the flavors to meld beautifully.
The vegetable broth creates a creamy sauce that coats the pasta perfectly, and the whole thing comes together on medium heat in no time. If you're looking for an easy pasta recipe that doesn't skimp on flavor or nutrition, this pasta e piselli dish is your go-to. Trust us; it's a game-changer, just like our 3-ingredient pasta sauce recipe.
💚 Why you will love it
- Nutrient-rich: Packed with fiber, protein, and vitamins.
- Gluten-Free: Perfect for gluten sensitivities.
- One-Pot: Easy cooking, minimal cleanup.
- Flavorful: Garlic, thyme, and vegan parmesan.
- Versatile: Great for variations and substitutions.
This pasta is made with just a few delicious ingredients:
- Gluten-free short pasta: We opt for gluten-free pasta to make this dish accessible to everyone, including those with gluten sensitivities. Plus, its short shape perfectly captures the creamy sauce.
- Frozen peas: A convenient and nutritious option, frozen peas add a pop of color and a dose of plant-based protein to the dish. You can also use fresh peas; the key here is to get sweet peas.
- Onion: The chopped onion serves as the aromatic base, adding depth and sweetness to the overall flavor profile.
- Fresh garlic: Finely chopped garlic infuses the dish with its pungent aroma and health-boosting properties, like natural antioxidants.
- Vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon cubes: These add a rich, savory backbone to the pasta and help in cooking it to perfection.
- Thyme: Dried thyme elevates the dish with its earthy and slightly minty notes, complementing the sweetness of the peas. You can also use any fresh herbs you like.
- Homemade Vegan Parmesan cheese: This dairy-free alternative brings a cheesy, nutty finish to the dish, and it's super easy to make at home!
- Optional to serve:
- Extra-virgin Olive oil: This drizzle enhances the dish's richness and adds a layer of fruity complexity.
- Red pepper flakes: For those who like a little heat, red pepper flakes can be sprinkled on top to kick things up a notch.
See the recipe card for quantities.
- Gluten-free short pasta: If you're not concerned about gluten, you can use regular wheat pasta or whole wheat pasta for a fiber boost. Orzo or small shells work well, too.
- Frozen peas: Fresh peas can be used if you have them. Just adjust the cooking time, as fresh peas may cook faster.
- Onion: Shallots or leeks can be a milder alternative to onions.
- Fresh garlic: Garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar can be used in a pinch, though fresh is best for flavor.
- Vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon cubes: You can substitute with mushroom broth for a deeper, earthier flavor or even a light miso broth for an umami kick.
- Thyme: Fresh or dried rosemary, oregano, or even Italian seasoning can be used as an alternative to thyme.
- Homemade Vegan Parmesan: Nutritional yeast can be used for a cheesy flavor, or you can opt for store-bought vegan parmesan.
- Large Saucepan
- Garlic Press
This Italian pasta dish involves very simple steps.
Step 1: Finely chop the onion.
Step 2: Mince garlic.
Step 3: Add onion to a large pot and stir fry. As soon as the diced onion is translucent, add the garlic.
Step 4: Add half of the frozen peas.
Hint: If you're not into cooking with oil, feel free to add a splash of regular olive oil. However, if you prefer to skip the oil, you can sauté the onions without it. Should the onions start to stick, simply add a tablespoon of water as needed to prevent sticking.
Step 5: Add some water if it sticks.
Step 6: Add vegetable broth.
Step 7: Followed by your choice of short pasta.
Step 8: Stir and let the pasta cook, following the package directions.
Hint: Add the vegan parmesan and the second portion of frozen peas two minutes before the pasta's suggested cooking time is up. This allows the flavors of the pasta and peas to blend beautifully during the final moments of cooking the pasta.
Step 9: Cook pasta, frequently stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure the pasta doesn't stick in the bottom of the saucepan.
Step 10: When the pasta water is almost consumed and the pasta is almost cooked, add the parmesan cheese and remaining peas.
Step 11: Add optional red pepper flakes.
Read on: Butternut Squash pasta with peas
💡 Expert tip
Master the Pasta Timing: The key to nailing this recipe every single time is cooking the pasta. To ensure that your pasta is perfectly al dente, start testing it a minute or two before the package's suggested cooking time is up. Remember, the pasta will continue to cook a bit even after you've taken it off the heat, especially since it's a one-pot dish. This way, you'll avoid overcooked, mushy pasta and achieve that ideal texture that makes this dish a standout.
By watching your pasta's cooking time, you're setting yourself up for a flawless pasta and peas experience every time!
Mediterranean Twist: Swap out the thyme for a combination of fresh oregano and rosemary. Add some Kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes to the mix for a Mediterranean flair. Finish with a sprinkle of vegan feta cheese.
Asian Fusion: Replace the thyme and parmesan with a splash of coconut milk and a spoonful of green curry paste. Add some sliced bell peppers and baby corn for added texture and color. Top it off with some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.
Mexican: Use cumin and paprika instead of thyme, and add some black beans and corn to the pasta and peas. Drizzle with a vegan avocado crema and garnish with chopped cilantro and a wedge of lime.
🥢 How to serve
Spice It Up: If you're a fan of heat, consider adding a dollop of spicy vegan pesto or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. You can even swirl in some sriracha for an unexpected twist.
Cheese, Please: Go all out on the vegan cheese front. Besides the homemade vegan parmesan, add dollops of vegan ricotta or a sprinkle of vegan mozzarella for extra creamy consistency.
Bread Pairing: Serve this delicious dish with garlic bread made from Italian Artisan bread with olive oil, vegan butter, and freshly minced garlic. Toast it until it's golden and crispy.
Salad Side: A crisp, refreshing salad can be a great companion to this hearty dish. Think arugula, cherry tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette to balance out the richness of the pasta.
Family Style: If you're serving a crowd, consider laying out the pasta and peas in a large serving dish garnished with fresh basil and a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Let everyone dig in and serve themselves for a communal dining experience.
Lunchbox Leftovers: This dish reheats beautifully, making it a perfect candidate for next-day lunches. Just pack it in an airtight container and you're good to go!
When aiming for pasta al dente in your pasta e piselli dish, opting for short pasta shapes like fusilli, ditalini, or small shells (small pasta) is best. These types of pasta are excellent for capturing the creamy sauce and peas, ensuring that each bite is a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. Gluten-free options are also available if you want to make the dish accessible to those with dietary restrictions.
To guarantee al dente pasta in your pasta e piselli, choosing high-quality pasta is crucial. Premium pasta tends to hold its shape and texture better during cooking. Make sure to start testing the pasta a minute or two before the package's suggested cooking time is up, as this will help you achieve that perfect al dente texture that elevates the entire dish.
You don't need to thaw the frozen peas before adding them to the dish. Frozen peas can go directly into the pot and thaw quickly as they cook, making them a convenient and time-saving option. This also helps to retain their vibrant color and nutritional value.
🥡 Storage and Reheating
In the Fridge:
- Storing: Place any leftover pasta and peas in an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Reheating: To reheat, you can either use a microwave or stovetop. If using a microwave, heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until warmed. On the stovetop, reheat the dish over medium heat, adding a splash of vegetable broth or water to prevent drying.
Freezing and Reheating:
- Freezing: This dish can be frozen for up to 2 months. Portion the cooked pasta and peas into freezer-safe containers, leaving some space at the top for expansion.
- Reheating from Frozen: When you're ready to enjoy it again, you can either thaw it in the fridge overnight and then reheat it as above or reheat it directly from frozen over low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally.
Meal Prep Option:
Batch Cooking: You can easily double or triple this recipe for meal prep. Once cooked, portion it into individual serving containers and store them in the fridge or freezer. Just grab, reheat, and eat a quick and nutritious meal anytime!
Following these storage and reheating guidelines, you can enjoy your delicious pasta and peas dish whenever the craving strikes!
📚 More quick, comforting pasta recipes
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Italian Peas and Pasta
- Start with the Basics: Place your medium pot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.
- Onions First: Toss in the diced onions. Give them a good stir and cook until they're soft and have that lovely translucent look. This should take about 2 minutes.
- Garlic and Thyme Time: Now, introduce the chopped garlic and thyme to the pot.A Little Tip: Since we're going oil-free, splash in 3-4 tablespoons of water to keep things from sticking. But hey, if you're feeling a bit indulgent, a drizzle of olive oil works too!
- Peas Please: Add half of the peas next. Stir them around and let them cook for about a minute.
- Broth and Pasta: Pour in that hot vegetable stock (or water with 2 bouillon cubes if that's your jam). Crank up the heat to get it boiling. Once it's bubbling, in goes the pasta and a teaspoon of salt. Remember, you can always add more salt later to get it just right.
- Pasta Perfection: Lower the heat to medium-high. Let the pasta cook in that flavorful broth. Keep an eye on it and stir often to prevent any sneaky sticking. If the water isn't quite covering the pasta, no stress! Just add a bit more water as needed.Almost There: Once the pasta is perfectly al dente and there's just a smidge of liquid left, it's time to turn off the heat.
- Cheesy Goodness: Sprinkle in the vegan parmesan cheese, remaining peas, and give it a good mix until it's beautifully blended.
- Adjust: Give it a taste. Need more seasoning? Go for it!Serve it Up: Dish it out while it's hot. If you're in the mood, drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. And for that extra kick, a sprinkle of black pepper, red pepper flakes, or even more vegan parmesan cheese will do the trick.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
Please note that some of the links here are affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend all of the products listed because they are companies I have found helpful and trustworthy.